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Furloughed workers rely on credit cards, family and friends, and loans to boost finances

  • 44% of currently furloughed adults have or have considered borrowing money on credit cards throughout the pandemic 
  • 42% have or have considered borrowing money from family or friends and 41% either have or have considered taking out a loan
  • However, over a third (34%) are using property wealth to boost their finances in furlough 


As the furlough scheme comes to an end this month, research from Canada Life1 reveals how currently furloughed workers have boosted their income throughout the pandemic. The most common way of boosting finances was borrowing money on credit cards, with two in five (44%) saying they have considered or done this. This was closely followed by borrowing money from family or friends (42%), and 41% who have or have considered taking out a loan. 


The findings also reveal that workers on furlough have been looking to use their property wealth to boost their finances. Over a third (34%) of individuals on furlough have remortgaged or have considered remortgaging their property to unlock additional income. This is particularly the case for younger workers, with 49% of 18-34 year olds having considered or done this, compared to 36% for 35-54 year olds, and just 5% for those aged 55 and over. 


Ways to boost finances during period of furlough

Borrowed / considered borrowing on credit cards


Borrowed / considered borrowing from friends or family


Taken / considered taking out a loan


Taken / considered taking a credit card payment holiday


Accessed / considered accessing pension


Taken / considered taking a mortgage holiday


Remortgaged / considered remortgaging home



Alice Watson, Head of Marketing, Insurance, Canada Life said:

“The furlough scheme has provided much-needed support to millions of workers across the country. However, with fragile finances, many have had to consider other sources of income to boost their incomes, whether that be turning to friends and family, looking at forms of credit or accessing the wealth from property. 

“As we navigate through the pandemic, it is likely many people will feel additional financial strain as the furlough scheme draws to close this month. Property wealth is playing an increasingly important role in financial plans. Anyone considering accessing their property wealth should speak to a financial adviser, whether that be remortgaging or equity release. Given the market offers a huge range of choice and flexibility, contacting a financial adviser is a sensible first step. These professionals will be able to offer holistic advice and tailor solutions to each individual’s needs.”


  1. Source: Research among 500 UK adults on furlough at the time of completion, including 107 aged 55+ between 20th August - 6th September 2021.